Enamel Sample Preperations

Toady I spent a couple of hours in the afternoon cutting and preparing some more enamel samples for firing on Friday morning. I initially was going to plasma cut my sample pieces off the foot ring that is serving as my sample material but in the end decided to cut them off with an angle grinder. I ended up producing 8 small samples with half the foot ring left for further experiments if needed. One such experiment will be to fire a large curved section in the glass kiln to see how well it works in the kiln firing conditions.

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I used an ultra thin cutting disk on the grinder today, I love these disks! They cut so quick and cleanly and you can get very precise with them. They are not chewing through huge amounts of material so there’s less waste and its much quicker. I shall be getting some more of those.

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Here I make some rough cut lines with the trusty Sharpie.

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Ring standing on its open side. This has had the paint wire brushed back with a steel wire brush cone attachment for an angle grinder. This made light work of the paint and was much faster than sand blasting it off like I have in the past.

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After a quick sandblast I used a sanding disk on the grinder and went over the surface again.

Most of the pieces ended up with lots of different surface markings from different tools, these included wire brush, file marks, grinder sanding pad textures (I love those marks!) and the matte finish of sandblasting.

I had left the lid off my liquid enamel that I made yesterday and it had thickened a bit, the water evaporating in the warm studio over night. The result was a better consistency for smooth application, it needed only a few drops of water to get it just right. I will still play around with this consistency in the future however and see what other results I can get. Whilst preparing my samples in the metal shop I was thinking about how I could produce bowls and forms from sheet steel using the forge and wooden formers….

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